Nesholm Family Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports nonprofits in Seattle in the areas of health and human services, education, and the performing arts. New applications are considered at winter and spring board meetings.

FUNDING AREAS: Health and human services, education, performing arts

IP TAKE: This is a good performing arts grantmaker to know in Seattle. Request between $5,000 and $50,000.

PROFILE: The Nesholm Family Foundation is a locally focused funder based in Seattle, Washington. It was established by the will of Elmer J. Nesholm, a resident of Seattle and New York City and a key executive with United Parcel Service. Nesholm passed away in 1986, and the foundation was established in 1987.

This foundation is dedicated to the people of Seattle. Interests are health and human services, education, and the performing arts. Health and human services grants go to public health issues, the health and wellbeing of children and families, and the needs of disadvantaged groups. Education grants seek to develop the potential of underachieving students, bring the community to public schools, and expand opportunities for cultural education in public schools. Performing arts grants stay in Seattle to support artistic and organizational development, make the arts more accessible, and encourage high performance standards.

While almost all grants stay in Seattle, consideration may be given to programs in other parts of King County too. This usually only happens when there is no Seattle-based group providing a particular service. A majority of the grants here are awarded for one year, but renewals may be offered. On occasion, the foundation will solicit proposals to develop programs and projects. As a rule, this foundation does not fund basic science research, ongoing normal operations, general fund drives, loans, or endowment funds.

In a recent year, the foundation awarded 50 grants totaling over $2 million. A total of $270,000 went to health and human services, $489,000 to education, $605,000 to performing arts, and $699,680 to other causes. See previous grants in the foundation’s annual reports, linked here.

The foundation’s budget for grants has been very limited over the last few years due to previous multiyear grants and other commitments. Today, the funder accepts and reviews applications on a quarterly basis. Performing arts applications are due November 1, and health and human services applications are due January 15. Since all education funding goes to the foundation’s Kids in the Middle initiative, no applications are being accepted for new education grants. You are welcome to call the office to confirm deadlines for an upcoming board meeting. Inquiries about grant opportunities should be sent to grants@nesholmfoundation.org.

The best contact for grantseekers is Erika J. Nesholm, the foundation’s executive director, at enesholm@nesholmfoundation.org. John F. Nesholm is the president of the board of trustees, Joseph M. Gaffney is the vice president and secretary, and Edgar K. Marcuse is the treasurer. There are four other board members as well. The foundation’s phone number is 206-324-3339, and its address is 120 Lakeside Avenue, Suite 340, Seattle, Washington, 98122.

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